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WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) -- A hard-to-kill weed that grows quickly is spreading to southeastern North Carolina.

State officials told The StarNews of Wilmington (http://bit.ly/10BAwai ) that hydrilla has been found in Lake Waccamaw, a 40 mile jump from its furthest spread into southeastern North Carolina in Lumberton.

Hydrilla often spreads when it gets caught on boat propellers or bait buckets that aren't clean. The boats or buckets are put into another lake, and the plant takes hold.

The weed can grow an inch per day, quickly entangling boat propellers and crowding out other plants. Treatment often costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some people call hydrilla the kudzu of the water.

Signs are being posted at boat ramps encouraging people to rinse off their boats before leaving area lakes.

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